Parents of grade 7s, 8s and 9s teens, read this to help you set your mind right as you partner with us to reinforce our summer series about what it means to grow as a Christian. – Freddy
Does your son and daughter ever wish they could just grow up? Maybe they yearn for the day they will get their driver’s licenses. Or graduate from high school. Or go away to college. They don’t really want to be kids anymore. They want to be seen as adults. They want to feel like they’ve moved on, grown up. We all know how that happens physically, but what about spiritually? How do we know we’re growing in your faith? How do we know that you’re moving forward in that area of our lives? The good news is that God is just as passionate about growing our faith as we are. And there are five ways He will use to do that—some involving things that we probably already know, and other ways that we may have never thought about before.
NOT QUITE GROWN UP
By Tim Walker
Are you done yet?
Are you completely grown up?
Yeah, me neither.
Sure, I put on the guise of being a grown-up every day—I’m married, have three kids, work a job, drive a car, pay a mortgage.
But if I was completely honest, I still have some growing to do.
And I’m not talking about my waistline. (Ahh, the 40s.)
Quite honestly, there are times when I feel anything but grown-up. There are times when I want to run and hide like a little kid. There are times when I want to pitch a fit like a toddler. There are times when I want to eat dessert first. (Well, that last one I actually can do. Refer back to the earlier comment about the waistline.)
These realities make it quite clear that I still do have a lot of growing to do. I’m not done yet.
I still need to learn.
I still need to be challenged beyond what is comfortable.
I still need to be willing to discover new things about who I am, who my spouse is, who my children are and the world I live in.
I want my relationships to grow and be more than what they are today—and that includes my relationship with God.
Sure, it would be easy to ride that one out. After all, God and I have known each other for years. But just like with any relationship in my life, I don’t want it to stay right where it began. It would be easier to stay where I am. It would be more convenient, require less time and less attention, but let’s be honest. The relationships we have with people where this is the case, rarely go the distance, and seldom do they ever become lasting relationships with genuine connection. With these people the conversation is only going to go so far. The connection is going to be limited.
Like many of us have probably learned the hard way, relationships not invested in and not cared for don’t make it. Relationships not growing are slowly dying. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want that to be the case with the people I care about.I want my relationship with my wife to be more than it was when we first met.
I want my relationship with my kids to be more meaningful than when I changed their diapers. Relationships are meant to be dynamic. They were meant to grow and change.
And that includes my relationship with God.
And here’s one thing that is awesome about God—He wants this relationship to grow too. And He will use all kinds of things to make that happen. He wants me to not only grow in what I learn and know about Him, but He also wants me to grow as I experience life with Him. Not only that, He will bring people in my path to direct me. He will use circumstances that cause me to lean into Him and prove how trustworthy He is. He will take my simple “I’ll do it” when I volunteer for something and show me how serving connects my heart to His.
So many people see being a grown-up as the finish line, reached when all their goals are accomplished. Those are goals filled with the “If I can justs . . . “ If I can just . . . get a job, get married, have kids, buy a home. But you and I know those justs can be moving targets.
But the God who made you and me, the God who knew us before we were born, is the God who says, “You’re not done yet.” There’s still so much He wants me to know, and there’s still so much He wants you to know.
I’m not done yet. I still need to grow.
And I will be at this place until the day I die, because He’s a big God, and there’s still so much He wants to show me.
So you’re not a grown up. You’re simply growing up.
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